NetIQ takes Kiwi tools to market

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Nasdaq-listed NetIQ's purchase of Auckland email and content security firm Marshal Software last December will mean more products and opportunities for the Australian channel.

While no extra distributor appointments are planned, a national channel development campaign is about to begin to explain the MailMarshal and WebMarshal software to resellers.

Existing distributors are Sydney's WebSecure, Melbourne's AGE Enterprises, Adeleide's Saratoga, and Brisbane's Webbsoft.

NetIQ Australia/New Zealand channel manager Garry Munden said the firm is looking to migrate these distributors to the “much more sophisticated” NetIQ partner program and expand the 100 strong reseller base.

“We are talking to each of our distributors about what the opportunity means,” he said.

Munden said under the NetIQ program distributors would gain access to additional NetIQ products in the security space such as firewall, management and reporting.

Marshal's two staff in Australia are added to the seven locally at NetIQ. NetIQ has a range of products itself and both distributes and direct sells according to the particular product.

NetIQ also has the WebTrends range of software from a previous acquisition. This will continue to be distributed through Sydney-based Digital Networks Australia.

NetIQ paid US$23 million cash for Marshal, whose most recently reported annual turnover figure was around US$6 million. This was speculated to have reached around A$8 million per year just prior to sale but the firm now declines to comment because NetIQ is a public company.

Marshal was started in 1997 and claims over 3600 customers globally.

John Skeates, NetIQ vice president, content security, and ex-Marshal general manager, said Marshal needed to move beyond its 2-3 percent global market share to catch up with competitors in the 20-30 percent range.

“We wanted to be a global brand, we wanted to be around in the long term, and we wanted to ensure that,” he said.

Skeates said NetIQ didn't have competing products with Marshal, therefore providing a complementary fit.

NetIQ brings its distribution channels and cross-selling opportunities to bear and also extends its channel activity by retaining Marshal's operations and 57 staff in New Zealand, Australia, Atlanta, and the UK.

US-based NetIQ senior vice president Tom Kemp said Marshal's software deals with a 'huge point of pain for IT staff and personnel” who are facing problems with spam, and lawsuits relating to email.

He listed the major reasons for the purchase from NetIQ's perspective.

“The first reason is that Marshal is in a very hot space. The second reason is that their products complement the solutions we offer both in systems management and security management.”

“So it was a great complement to what we offer. With NetIQ's products we estimate that we attach to over ten percent of all [Microsoft] Exchange mailboxes so we feel that there is a great opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell the Marshal products into the NetIQ installed base.”

“The third reason is that Marshal has superior technology, it is the best technology in the business.”

The deal follows in the footsteps of Symantec's US$27 million purchase of Auckland-based Binary Research in 1998. The CEO of NetIQ Chuck Bosenberg has previously held a position on the Symantec board and was positive about the outcome of that deal.

“When I approached him about this acquisition he was positive about the idea of having a product centre based [in New Zealand] given the great success he saw at Symantec,” said Kemp.

NetIQ is based in San Jose and in its fiscal year to June 2002 turned over $US275 million.

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